At school, Nadella caught wind with music

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Wednesday was special to Dennis Paul, the music teacher at Hyderabad Public School. The school had convened a special assembly to congratulate Satya Nadella, one of his students who took music with passion. Paul, who has one more year to retire, has seen Nadella play music. “Time management was never an issue for him. He would study hard, play sport and take music classes to unwind,” Paul said. He has taught him to play ‘puff the magic dragon’ and Nadella played it exceedingly well.

Nadella did not forget his teachers. “A few years back, I got a friend request on Facebook from him. It only showed his humility. He is a man with responsibilities but still had time for niceties like this,” recollects Paul. “In 2011, when he came to HPS, he thanked me for adding him as friend.

His friend and classmate MA Faiz Khan, now a board member of the school, describes Nadella as “Studious, simple and witty. Studious in the sense does not mean that he was always with books. He had time to play cricket. He was a spinner in the team,” he recollects. After the school, not many were in touch as each was busy with their higher studies and careers. “We again met in 2008 and planned an event for 2009. In the mean time, others also got in touch,” Khan said. In two years, it received a proposal from Microsoft for a programme on robotics. “We were pleasantly surprised to know that Satya himself will be coming for that,” tells Khan.

It was a chance bowling that fetched him a spot in the school team. “We had a common friend. Satya was not part of the team yet. The friend merely asked him to take a shot at bowling. He did. It was a perfect googly and then it was decided to take him in the team,” recollects Khan, who is now HPS secretary and board member. In another event, he ran a 100 m race to be selected for the athletics too.

“It is a boost to the students to an alumni being selected to lead a company, whose products several million users use,” said Colonel RS Khatri (Retd), the school principal. It has been a hectic day with a lot of visitors coming. “Normally, we have separate assemblies for the primary and higher section. But Wednesday we had a special assembly to congratulate Nadella. It is no small achievement and this proves the importance of being focused,” he says.

krishnamohan@mydigitalfc.com

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